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May 23, 2017

Tech investment to increase despite Brexit

GE calls on the Government to turn the country into a digital industrial powerhouse.

By James Nunns

GE is a strong believer that Great Britain can be turned into a digital industrial powerhouse after it leaves the EU.

The final makeup of the Brexit agreement is well on the horizon, but British businesses, along with GE, feel that overall investment in the UK’s digital economy will increase.

That’s according to research commissioned by GE and conducted by YouGov that found 79% believe the Government will continue to invest at the same levels (39%) or increase investment (43%) in the digital economy after the UK has left.

It was also found that 82% believe that UK businesses will continue to invest at the same levels (34%) or increase investment (49%) despite Brexit.

Read more: UK tech industry beats Brexit woes as IT jobs see 12% growth

Mark Elborne, president and CEO of GE UK&I said: “The Industrial Internet has the potential to fuel unprecedented gains in innovation for across all sectors in the GB, bringing about profound transformation to industry. These innovations promise to bring greater speed and efficiency to industries as diverse as aviation, rail, power generation, oil and gas development, and healthcare delivery.

“The UK should absolutely be at the centre of this revolution.

“Our research clearly show two things – that there is appetite to embrace the opportunity but that significant and sustainable investment is needed to ensure our infrastructure and talent is ready for the opportunity.  It is also critical that the Government leads the charge in digital – helping industry to see the transformative impact this could have on their businesses.”

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The research comes at a time when industry data predicts that there will be over 50 billion connected devices on the industrial internet by 2020, and that the applications that allow businesses to connect physical assets to cloud and wireless platforms will have nearly twice the economic potential than existing consumer focused IoT applications.

GE says that it is necessary for the UK to have both the right digital infrastructure and skills to maximise this potential. The majority of businesses (83%) would support improving existing infrastructure for internet connecting including broadband for the UK.

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